Joe Lucchesi Lecture: Art Week event 2

3 12 2009

“(Art) Boys Don’t Cry: Reading the Visual”

In Lucchesi’s lecture he discussed how we live in a very image saturated culture. He discussed how images we see in everyday life and in art communicate to us and how they garner emotions and responses from us. A couple key studies that Lucchesi mentioned were the study of semiotics and Stendhal syndrome. Semiotics is the study of meaning and how it is communicated with codes in images. Stendhal syndrome is the extreme, purely emotional response that is felt by an individual that views a piece of art that is overwhelming to their emotions. This emotional response tied into one of the last points that Lucchesi made in his lecture, which is that not all works of art are meant to be strictly political and provocative: some works of are just visually appealing, and we take great pleasure in just viewing a piece of art work as a thing of beauty. He compared pictures of Obama to Da Vinci’s Last Supper and discussed how they are both appealing, analysing their compositions and the balance that is created in both works.

What i particularly enjoyed in his lecture was his discussion of Stendhal syndrome. Based on Wikipedia’s definition of Stendhal syndrome, it is ART which will make you feel overwhelmed, thus it’s not just limited to painting or works of art in a gallery. With this in mind, it could also be possible to have a Stendhal Syndrome reaction to a piece of music, which I can relate to. There have been multiple occasions where i have been listening to music and heard a particularly powerful lyric or a dynamic sound created by an instrument(s) and have teared up or have gotten goose bumps. I found it interesting that were is an actual term for this emotional response to a piece of art, and I feel that many people can relate to it.

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